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Aireene & The Itch
Philippine-born, Bay Area-raised Aireene Espiritu is a veteran singer/songwriter who’s created an extensive book of original songs combining Afro-Caribbean and African rhythms, American folk forms, bluegrass techniques and gospel music fervor. As a young musician she absorbed the sounds of Alan Lomax’s field recordings from the South, as well as her uncles’ Filipino folk guitar fingerpicking. Accompanying herself on guitar and ukulele, she gained widespread attention last year with her critically hailed tribute to the great R&B singer Sugar Pie DeSanto, Back Where I Belong (Little Village Foundation). Her latest project is Aireene & The Itch, an uproarious, blues-drenched Americana combo featuring Brian Judd on mandolin and guitar, veteran bassist Karl Sevareid, Little Richard drummer Derrick “D’Mar” Martin and Elvin Bishop keyboardist/guitarist Bob Welsh.